Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Port Adelaide Torpedo Station

Port Adelaide Torpedo Station
photo : flinders.edu.au

The City of Adelaide’s coastline has long been protected by fortifications such as Fort Largs and Fort Glanville, and back in the 1880’s even had its own ship “The Protector”, which protected incoming passenger and cargo ships.
 The ship was commissioned, in part, because of pirates and Press Gangs working out of Kangaroo Island and Port Adelaide, but also because of the ever present threat of war from Prussia, which in those days, was a paranoia that hung over the colony on the other side of the world.

 Another form of protection for the colony, one you may never have heard of before, was the torpedo station situated at the north arm of the Port River, which operated from 1877 until it closed in 1916.
 This outpost had a number of buildings and a jetty that extended into the Port River. It was connected to other defense sites by a telegraph line.
 In 1905, an English built torpedo boat was commissioned to the small base, a 12 ton, 63 foot vessel that only saw service for less than a decade, when it was decommissioned and scrapped.
6" naval gun, originally mounted at Torpedo Mine Station 1885-1916 on Port River
History SA
Up until 1961, the residents of Port Adelaide had thought the Torpedo station to be a myth that was until a 6 inch naval gun was found by the Port Adelaide Council, buried deep in the mud.
 The gun was taken to the Birkenhead Naval Reserve, where it lay until 1994 when it was moved to the Council Depot in Tracy Street.
 In 1996, the now semi restored gun was moved to Birkenhead, and was situated on Cruickshank’s corner, this was until 2012, when the gun was moved again, this time into the custodianship of the Port Adelaide Historical Society which moved the gun in the Port Adelaide Maritime Museum, where it still rest today.